Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Caritas Launches Appeal for Sahel (West Africa) Food Crisis

13 March 2012

Caritas Launches Appeal for Sahel (West Africa) Food Crisis

Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand has launched a Special Appeal and pledged NZ$50,000 towards averting severe hunger and deaths in the Sahel region of West Africa.

‘An estimated 13 million people are in grave danger,’ says Caritas Director Julianne Hickey. ‘This has been brought on by severe drought, poor harvests, and rising food prices – made worse by regional conflict.’

‘Drought is a natural phenomenon, but famine is caused by human action – or inaction,’ she says. Hundreds of thousands of people died needlessly in the Horn of Africa last year because the international community took too long to respond. Eventually, concerted action by humanitarian agencies helped avert a far greater disaster in most of the affected countries. ‘There is no excuse for people to die of hunger in our world today,’ says Ms Hickey.

The international Caritas network is providing a coordinated response across five of the most severely affected countries in the Sahel – Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso, Chad, and Mauritania. In Niger alone, about 5.5 million people face hunger because of drought. Without assistance, communities are being forced to rely on traditional coping mechanisms. Some of these practices can make things worse in the long-term, such as burning trees to make charcoal or selling-off of livestock.

Caritas is distributing essential food to the most vulnerable; seeds and agricultural inputs for planting; and setting up both Food for Work and Cash for Work programmes. Young children, and pregnant and breast-feeding women, are the focus of special food assistance. The Caritas network is also establishing emergency water, hygiene and sanitation facilities in Niger, as thousands of refugees flee fighting in northern Mali between the country’s army and a rebel group.

‘Intervention now will help prevent a catastrophic event such as we saw in the Horn of Africa,’ says Ms Hickey.

Caritas Humanitarian Programmes Officer Mark Mitchell has just returned from Kenya, where he saw the difference that good, effective relief programmes made after last year’s Horn of Africa drought.

‘Lessons have been learnt from the Horn of Africa,’ says Mr Mitchell, ‘in terms of responding quicker and noticing the warning signs and thresholds of hardship earlier.’

‘I’ve seen the importance of Food for Work schemes in putting in place better water supplies, using better collection methods and improving access to water in the long term.’

Donations to Caritas for the Sahel crisis can be made by:

Phoning 0800 22 10 22 to make credit card donations or
Donating online using a credit card at www.caritas.org.nz or
Posting to Caritas, PO Box 12193, Thorndon, Wellington 6144, New Zealand.

Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand is a member of Caritas Internationalis, a confederation of 168 Catholic aid, development and social justice agencies active in over 200 countries and territories.

For more information visit www.caritas.org.nz.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Minister of Finance: Plan Shows $100 Billion Infrastructure Projects

Finance Minister Bill English has today launched the Government’s Ten Year Capital Intentions Plan (CIP) which shows a pipeline of $100.9 billion worth of infrastructure projects over the next decade. More>>


Werewolf: Safe Landings Gordon Campbell on the safety challenge to the Wellington runway extension.

The safety-related legal challenge revolves around the size of the 90 metre long Runway End Safety Area (RESA) being proposed for the runway extension. More>>


Environment Commissioner: We Need To Work Together On Climate Change And Farming

“The debate around agricultural emissions and the ETS has been polarised for too long,” said the Commissioner. “But the ETS is not the only way forward – there are other things that can be done.” More>>


NZ Super Fund: Seeking To Put A Market Price On Climate Change

Oct. 19 (BusinessDesk) - The New Zealand Superannuation Fund says it will devise a set of rules to assess investment winners and losers under climate change, a strategy that could rule out fossil fuels or producers such as current portfolio member Exxon ... More>>


Rejuvenation: Parata Will Not Contest 2017 Election

Education Minister and National List MP Hekia Parata has today announced that she will not be contesting the next election. She advised the Prime Minister of her decision earlier this year. More>>

Prisons Grow: Government Approves Plans For Increased Prison Capacity

Despite significant progress in reducing crime the number of prisoners has increased faster than projected. This is because the proportion of offenders charged with serious crimes has risen, meaning more people are being remanded in custody and serving more of their sentences in prison. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Plastic Bag Activism, And Street Harassment

Amusing to see the Act Party experiencing another outbreak of young fogey-ism. What has aroused the ire of Act Leader David Seymour this time is the introduction of a Greens private members bill to the ballot process, calling for a 15 cents levy on plastic bags to reduce pollution. More>>


Unclear Weapons: US Navy Ship Cleared To Visit NZ For Navy's 75th

United States Navy ship, the USS Sampson, has been given clearance to visit New Zealand next month by Prime Minister John Key... “The process for considering the visit by the USS Sampson is the same as that used for all ships attending the International Naval Review." More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news